Odometer (ILX): 111,069
Trip Distance: 90 Miles
Sometimes a quick getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city is just what you need to recharge. The teeny town (read: Population 6) of Tortilla Flat, Arizona is a step back in time to 1904 when it served as a stagecoach stop during construction of nearby Roosevelt Dam. Today, the town retains its wild west heritage and welcomes dozens of weekend visitors, just like me, who need an occasional break from the urban grid.
Exiting US 60 at Idaho Road, Arizona Highway 88 winds itself through the Superstition Mountains for about 18 miles as a two-laner lined with gigantic saguaro cacti leading up to the townsite. The bright blue desert sky didn’t have a stitch of cloud in it, and temperatures were perfect for windows-down and moonroof-open cruising, so I hit the road with a few friends:
Chandler, Jack, and Midge (the Border Collie) joined me for Saturday’s eastward trek in the ILX. My favorite part about the drive to Tortilla Flat is that the road has two one-lane bridges near Canyon Lake. It takes careful planning & coordination with oncoming traffic to decide “who’s up next” when it’s time to cross.
Tortilla Flat’s only restaurant, Superstition Saloon, was busy with an early afternoon lunch rush, but we got seated right away. Lining the walls that surrounded us was a wallpaper of a very unique type: Dollar bills. The walls, pillars, and sometimes even the ceiling, were absolutely covered in $1’s. Each one had a handwritten Sharpie message inscribed on it. I noticed that most of the bills near our table were dated around 2009. I asked the hostess at the front desk, “How much money is on these walls?” She told me the bills totaled up to around $200,000! The burger with green chili slices was exceptional, and Jack’s open-faced “Killer Chili” burger with homemade chili on it looked pretty tasty, too.
We felt like hiking around a little bit after lunch, so we wandered across the street and down to Mesquite Creek which is a tributary of the larger Salt River. Midge loved romping around on the boulders and playing fetch with any stick she could get her mouth on. A couple of times she took a dip in the water for a gulp or two. The dangers of the desert became apparent when Midge inadvertently got her paw stuck on a branch of cholla cactus. The cholla’s needles are incredibly grabby – even to the point of seeming “sticky.” Chandler had to perform a few minutes of extraction to clear the needles from Midge’s paw while she patiently waited.
Quick photo-op with Jack.
We noticed that a couple of people were coming out of the General Store with ice cream cones, so the temptation overcame us and we went for some dessert too. I recommend the waffle cone and chocolate! We were in a “country” mood for the return drive so while Jack dozed off in the backseat, Chandler and I treated our ears to a few hits from Tim McGraw and Sam Hunt. Midge may have caught a few minutes of shuteye, too. Here are the rest of the pictures from our adventure.
Clean ILX after a hand-wash late last week.
Menu cover to Superstition Saloon restaurant.
A look inside the restaurant.
Some decor outside the General Store.
Mine replica and some fun antique artifacts in the surrounding area.
Nothing quite like a bright blue sky.
Acura NSX meet-up later that evening with a few friends. I drove my 1992 down to meet up with everyone.
Group at dinner.
Few other blurry pictures, but you get the idea. We have a a great group of NSX enthusiasts here in Arizona.
Few more of the cars.
Formula Red is such a great color on these cars. But, I might be biased.
Hope the weekend has treated everyone well!